Saturday, June 6, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 14

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on April 16th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 7 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 7

Inmate dies two days into stay at SB County Jail


A 62-year-old man died after two days in custody in the Santa Barbara County Jail, marking the second death at the facility in 2019.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office officials identified the deceased inmate as Eduardo Rodriguez, a Santa Barbara-area transient who had been in custody since April 10. Officials believe Rodriguez may have died of natural causes, but they're still investigating his death.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office officials said a 62-year-old inmate died of what appears to be natural causes in the county jail April 12.

Rodriguez was booked in the jail on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender, a violation of his probation. At approximately 6 p.m. on April 12, Rodriguez approached a deputy at the jail and told him that he wasn't feeling well. According to a written statement from the Sheriff's Office, the deputy observed that Rodriguez appeared to be ill and called for jail medical staff.

Rodriguez, who was in a wheelchair, was placed in one of the jail's hallways and his condition worsened. He became unresponsive and jail deputies initiated CPR. Paramedics were called while the jail's medical staff attempted to revive Rodriguez with an automated external defibrillator. County fire department personnel arrived and took over lifesaving efforts but Rodriguez remained unresponsive. He died at 6:41 that same night, according to the Sheriff's Office.

As of April 16, the Sheriff's Office hadn't released an official cause of death.

"While his death appears to be due to natural causes, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Coroner's Office is conducting a death investigation to determine the official cause, manner, and circumstances of death," the Sheriff's Office statement read. "A final determination is pending an autopsy, toxicology, and lab results."

Rodriguez was the second inmate to die in the jail this year. On Jan. 10, 52-year-old inmate Jose A. Curiel died due to complications from an unknown medical condition after being transported to a local hospital from the jail. The Sheriff's Office did not respond to questions from the Sun about the official cause of Curiel's death.

Rodriguez is the 24th inmate to die in the Santa Barbara County Jail since 2000. A 2018 investigation by the Sun found that the majority of deaths at the jail were classified as "natural" with many of the inmates suffering from multiple chronic medical conditions.

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